The MPA Program at Wayne State University is one of the oldest such programs in the nation. Since its founding, the program has produced hundreds of graduates who have gone on to successful—and in many cases distinguished –public service careers.
Dr. Lent Upson who was one of the pioneers in the study of public administration founded the program in 1935.He also served as the first Director of the Detroit Bureau of Municipal Research—now the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. Along with a Division of Social Work, the program was part of a School of Public Affairs until 1950, when the social work program became a separate college. In 1951 the Public Administration Division merged with the Department of Government and became a Department of Political Science. The MPA Program has been a part of this department ever since.
Reflecting its long and distinguished history, the MPA Program in 1985 became the first such program in Michigan to gain accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).To be accredited by NASPAA, a program must meet numerous standards for faculty size and quality, content and structure of its curriculum, internship opportunities, and educational support resources such as libraries, computing facilities and placement services. The MPA Program was reaccredited in 1992, 1999, and 2006.